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8. Nature and Water, Current Status and the National Biodiversity Management plan 2017 2021 - Rebecca Jeffrey - Water Event 2019

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This presentation was given at the EPA’s National Water Event 2019, which took place on 29 and 30 May 2019 in Galway. This presentation by Rebecca Jeffrey from NPWS is on the status of protected habitats and species in Ireland

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8. Nature and Water, Current Status and the National Biodiversity Management plan 2017 2021 - Rebecca Jeffrey - Water Event 2019

  1. 1. Nature and Water: Status of protected habitats and species in Ireland Rebecca Jeffrey National Parks and Wildlife Service May 29 2019
  2. 2. Outline • Nature Directives • National Conservation Assessment process • Draft 2019 results • Wider context and the way forward
  3. 3. Birds Directive 2009/147/EC Requires designation of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for: Annex I species Migratory species Aggregations of 20,000 waterbirds/10,000 pairs of seabirds Wetlands are a vital component Conserve populations of all European wild birds
  4. 4. Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC Requires designation of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for the protection of: Annex I habitats (60 habitats)- 44 are water-dependent Annex II species (25 species)- 21 are water-dependent To maintain at, or restore to, favourable conservation status
  5. 5. Habitats Directive: Article 11: Member States shall undertake surveillance of the conservation status of the natural habitats and species referred to in Article 2…….. Article 17: Every six years….Member States shall draw up a report on the implementation of the measures taken under this Directive……..and the main results of the surveillance referred to in Article 11…….
  6. 6. Conservation Status Assessments All habitats and species listed in Annexes (I, II, IV and V) of the Habitats Directive are assessed using a standardised approach Habitat Species Range Range Area Population Structure and functions Habitat for the species Future prospects Future prospects Parameters assessed:
  7. 7. Status of parameters All ‘favourable’, or three ‘favourable’ and one ‘unknown’ One or more ‘inadequate’, but no ‘bad’ One or more ‘bad’ Two or more ‘unknown’ combined with ‘favourable’ or all ‘unknown’ Overall assessment of CS Favourable Unfavourable- inadequate Unfavourable- bad Unknown Evaluation matrix
  8. 8. Habitat code Habitat name Conservation status Trend 3110 Oligotrophic waters containing very few minerals of sandy plains (Littorelletalia uniflorae) Bad = 3130 Oligotrophic to mesotrophic standing waters with vegetation of the Littorelletea uniflorae and/or of the Isoëto-Nanojuncetea Inadequate ↓ 3140 Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp. Bad ↓ 3150 Natural eutrophic lakes with Magnopotamion or Hydrocharition - type vegetation Inadequate = 3160 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds Inadequate = 3180 Turloughs Inadequate = 3260 Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation Inadequate ↓ 3270 Rivers with muddy banks with Chenopodion rubri p.p. and Bidention p.p. vegetation Favourable = Draft 2019 results- freshwater habitats
  9. 9. Draft 2019 results- coastal/transitional Habitat code Habitat name Conservation status Trend 1130 Estuaries Inadequate ↓ 1150 Coastal lagoons Bad ↓ 1160 Large shallow inlets and bays Bad ↓
  10. 10. Draft 2019 results- freshwater species Code Scientific name Common Name Conservation status Trend 1029 Margaritifera margaritifera Freshwater Pearl Mussel Bad ↓ 1092 Austropotamobius pallipes White-clawed Crayfish Bad ↓ 1095 Petromyzon marinus Sea Lamprey Bad = 1096 Lampetra planeri Brook Lamprey Favourable = 1099 Lampetra fluviatilis River Lamprey Unknown 1103 Alosa fallax Twaite Shad Bad = 1106 Salmo salar Atlantic Salmon Inadequate = 1355 Lutra lutra Otter Favourable = 1833 Najas flexilis Slender Naiad Inadequate ↓ 5046 Alosa killarnensis Killarney Shad Favourable =
  11. 11. Why?
  12. 12. White clawed crayfish • Listed on Annexes II and V • 15 SACs • Widespread distribution in Ireland • In decline across Europe- alien species and plague
  13. 13. Crayfish plague • Carried by American crayfish (which hasn’t been recorded in Ireland) • Recent outbreaks in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 • DNA testing suggests at least three strains
  14. 14. Crayfish- alien species • First record of non-native crayfish in the wild in Ireland in 2019 • Yabby- Cheras destructor • Australian species • Does not carry plague
  15. 15. The wider context and the way forward Clearly need better management and implementation of focused conservation measures, for multiple benefits- often at the catchment scale e.g. restoration of peatlands • reduces DOC and nutrient export • improves water quality and hydrological processes of receiving water courses • considerable savings in water treatment from catchments
  16. 16. Look beyond water quality and consider all ecological requirements • Detailed site-specific conservation objectives published for 307 SACs • List attributes with targets for maintaining/restoring habitats/species favourable condition at site-level The wider context and the way forward Najas flexilis
  17. 17. The wider context and the way forward Additional Reasoned Opinion • Need to identify necessary conservation measures on a site-by-site basis (for 439 SACs) and mechanisms for their implementation Prioritised Action Framework (2021-2027) • Outlines priorities for Natura 2000 management, including costs • Strategic multi-annual planning tool • About to commence inter-departmental and agency consultation • Wider consultation later in the summer
  18. 18. Thanks to: Andy Bleasdale Deirdre Lynn Brian Nelson Aine O Connor Ciaran O’Keeffe Fionnuala O’Neill Shane Regan

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